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Rick Sygar Obituary

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Rick Sygar

Niles, Ohio

June 23, 1944 - May 10, 2024

Rick Sygar Obituary

Rick Sygar - The irrepressible Rick Sygar, 79, of New York City and Sag Harbor, Long Island passed away on Friday, May 10, 2024. Rick was born June 23, 1944 and was the third of seven children of Stephen and Virginia Sygar of Niles, Ohio. He adored his family and was a loving, caring, and supportive son, brother, uncle and granduncle his entire life.

Rick attended St. Stephen’s Catholic Grade School and Niles McKinley High School. At Niles McKinley, Rick excelled as both student and athlete. He led the 1961 football team to the Ohio state championship, scoring 25 touchdowns and making nine interceptions. He was named running back of the year in the state of Ohio. He also excelled in basketball and track, leading the 1961-62 McKinley basketball team in scoring and qualifying for the Ohio state meet in the 880 yard run.

Rick was the first in his bloodline to go to college. He attended the University of Michigan on a football scholarship, graduating with a degree in architecture and design. Rick was a three-year starter on the Michigan football team, playing running back on offense, safety on defense, returning punts and kickoffs, and kicking extra points and field goals. In his sophomore season, he was a standout on Michigan’s Big Ten and 1965 Rose Bowl championship team. Rick was one of only three players in Michigan football history to score a touchdown all four ways offensively –  rushing, receiving, passing and a punt or kick return. He was also a three-year starter on the Michigan baseball team as a second baseman.

At Michigan, Rick met Janet Newland, a fellow student from Bloomfield Hills, in their freshman English class. It was love, and many laughs, at first sight. They married in August 1969 and were inseparable until Rick’s passing.  Rick and Janet traveled extensively. Shortly after graduating from Michigan, they spent a year in Europe and northern Africa during which time Rick studied and sketched the classical architecture and countryside. Several subsequent summers – during Janet’s breaks as a New York City schoolteacher – were spent in Italy, France and England.

Rick became a practicing architect in 1968, first at the New York firm of Paul Rudolph before starting his own practice in 1970. He designed private homes and office spaces in New York City, Connecticut, Long Island and Michigan, including Rick and Janet’s homes in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and in Sag Harbor on eastern Long Island. His work was featured in The New York Times, Fine Homebuilding, House & Garden, and other publications.

Rick was a shameless life of the party, quick wit, avid reader and passionate tennis player and golfer. In his ‘30s and ‘40s, he took piano and flute lessons. He was admired but envied for his homemade pasta sauces, brownies and chocolate chip cookies, the recipes for which he never disclosed. Rick was also an accomplished watercolorist whose works were featured in Long Island galleries and several times on the cover of Dan’s Papers, a Hamptons periodical.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Janet; sister Sally Nolder of The Villages, Florida; brothers Vince of Torrance, California; Rob (Shelia) of Bowie, Maryland; Dan (Colleen) of Northville, Michigan; and numerous nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces and cousins. Rick was also the very proud godfather of Ashley (Twyon) Bryan of Charlotte, Vermont. He was preceded in death by his father Stephen, mother Virginia, brothers Jim and Bill, and brother-in-law Ron Nolder.

A celebration of Rick’s life will take place in the summer in New York City.

If you would like to make a donation in Rick’s memory, please give to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).  Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home Niles, Ohio.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Rick Sygar hosted by Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home.

Rick Sygar - The irrepressible Rick Sygar, 79, of New York City and Sag Harbor, Long Island passed away on Friday, May 10, 2024. Rick was born June 23, 1944 and was the third of seven children of Stephen and Virginia Sygar of Niles, Ohio. He adored his family and was a loving, caring, and supportive son, brother, uncle and granduncle his entire life.

Rick attended St. Stephen’s Catholic Grade School and Niles McKinley High School. At Niles McKinley, Rick excelled as both student and athlete. He led the 1961 football team to the Ohio state championship, scoring 25 touchdowns and making nine interceptions. He was named running back of the year in the state of Ohio. He also excelled in basketball and track, leading the 1961-62 McKinley basketball team in scoring and qualifying for the Ohio state meet in the 880 yard run.

Rick was the first in his bloodline to go to college. He attended the University of Michigan on a football scholarship, graduating with a degree in architecture and design. Rick was a three-year starter on the Michigan football team, playing running back on offense, safety on defense, returning punts and kickoffs, and kicking extra points and field goals. In his sophomore season, he was a standout on Michigan’s Big Ten and 1965 Rose Bowl championship team. Rick was one of only three players in Michigan football history to score a touchdown all four ways offensively –  rushing, receiving, passing and a punt or kick return. He was also a three-year starter on the Michigan baseball team as a second baseman.

At Michigan, Rick met Janet Newland, a fellow student from Bloomfield Hills, in their freshman English class. It was love, and many laughs, at first sight. They married in August 1969 and were inseparable until Rick’s passing.  Rick and Janet traveled extensively. Shortly after graduating from Michigan, they spent a year in Europe and northern Africa during which time Rick studied and sketched the classical architecture and countryside. Several subsequent summers – during Janet’s breaks as a New York City schoolteacher – were spent in Italy, France and England.

Rick became a practicing architect in 1968, first at the New York firm of Paul Rudolph before starting his own practice in 1970. He designed private homes and office spaces in New York City, Connecticut, Long Island and Michigan, including Rick and Janet’s homes in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and in Sag Harbor on eastern Long Island. His work was featured in The New York Times, Fine Homebuilding, House & Garden, and other publications.

Rick was a shameless life of the party, quick wit, avid reader and passionate tennis player and golfer. In his ‘30s and ‘40s, he took piano and flute lessons. He was admired but envied for his homemade pasta sauces, brownies and chocolate chip cookies, the recipes for which he never disclosed. Rick was also an accomplished watercolorist whose works were featured in Long Island galleries and several times on the cover of Dan’s Papers, a Hamptons periodical.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Janet; sister Sally Nolder of The Villages, Florida; brothers Vince of Torrance, California; Rob (Shelia) of Bowie, Maryland; Dan (Colleen) of Northville, Michigan; and numerous nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces and cousins. Rick was also the very proud godfather of Ashley (Twyon) Bryan of Charlotte, Vermont. He was preceded in death by his father Stephen, mother Virginia, brothers Jim and Bill, and brother-in-law Ron Nolder.

A celebration of Rick’s life will take place in the summer in New York City.

If you would like to make a donation in Rick’s memory, please give to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).  Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home Niles, Ohio.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Rick Sygar hosted by Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Rick Sygar.